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Article
February 1929

THE PHYSIOLOGY OF VESTIBULAR NYSTAGMUS

Author Affiliations

CHICAGO
From the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Northwestern University Medical School.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1929;9(2):123-134. doi:10.1001/archotol.1929.00620030137001
Abstract

Vestibular nystagmus is an intricate physiologic phenomenon. This is due to the incomplete knowledge of the subject but will still be true when the knowledge is complete, because of the complexity of the mechanisms involved.

The phenomenon has long attracted the interest of the physiologist because of the importance of the eyes and their compensatory movements and the relation of the eyes to the labyrinth. During the last two decades, it has increasingly attracted the attention of the clinician, because it is used extensively as an aid in neurologic and otologic diagnosis, and as a test of fitness in aviation.

It is my object in this paper to outline briefly, and as simply as possible, the present status of the knowledge of the physiology of vestibular nystagmus.

DEFINITION

Vestibular nystagmus is manifested by movements of the eyes (and also of the head in some animals) when the

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